Eid in Dubai is a dazzling holiday where ancient rituals and modern innovations mingle. During this time, the city is bright with lights and alive with the sound of people laughing and singing.
If this is your first time in Dubai, you’ve picked the right time to visit! But despite the joyous atmosphere, there are a few things you should keep in mind while you join in the celebrations.
So, get ready to celebrate and experience a thrilling adventure of the senses in Dubai!
What Is Eid in Dubai?
Eid in Dubai is an annual religious celebration observed by Muslims, comprising Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. It signifies the end of Ramadan and honors Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son.
During Eid, the city comes to life with vibrant colors and sparkling lights, reflecting the spirit of love, unity, and compassion that permeates the holiday.
Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan with a three-day celebration. It’s a happy holiday that involves exchanging gifts, visiting family and friends, and indulging in traditional foods.
Eid al-Adha, is four days long and honors Ibrahim (Abraham) for his sacrifice. It’s a more solemn event during which Muslims reflect on Ibrahim’s sacrifice.
However, both Eids are celebrated with immense joy and enthusiasm in Dubai.
Several cherished traditions are observed such as the emphasis on charitable acts. And to cap off the celebratory atmosphere, fireworks light up the night sky on Eid.
Those who celebrate spend their time with loved ones with traditional lavish meals and sweet treats. Many families also visit amusement parks, shopping centers, and other entertainment hotspots so that the celebrations can be found all over town.
Let’s take a look at both holidays in more detail.
Eid al-Fitr, also known as the “Festival of Breaking the Fast,” is one of the most important Islamic holidays celebrated by Muslims worldwide. You can expect locals to decorate their homes and dress in their finest attire to mark this joyous celebration.
This holiday occurs over the first three days of Shawwal, the 10th month of the Islamic calendar. The specific date of Eid al-Fitr changes each year because the Islamic calendar is lunar-based.
During Eid al-Fitr, Muslims gather in mosques and other public places for special prayers which are an integral part of the festival. They thank Allah for giving believers the fortitude to make it through the fasting month.
After the prayers, everyone comes together to eat and exchange gifts, creating a sense of community and sharing in the good times. It’s also a chance to ask for pardon and divine favor for the future.
Now, one of the most central tenets of Eid al-Fitr is to provide Zakat al-Fitr, a form of charity to assist the less fortunate in participating in the festivities and enjoying a proper meal.
As per the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), fasting during the holiday season is not only about abstaining from food and drink but also purifying oneself from empty talk and immoral actions.
This purification is achieved by giving to those in need, known as Zakat al-Fitr.
One saa’ (a unit of measurement used in Islam roughly 2.2 kg) of staple foods like wheat, barley, dates, raisins, or others, is the standard amount of Zakat al-Fitr. However, payment in kind or cash for the same value is acceptable.
The night before Eid al-Fitr is when Zakat al-Fitr must be paid, but it can be done anytime during Ramadan. Making the payment before the Eid prayer is preferable, but making the payment afterward is also acceptable.
The “Festival of Sacrifice,” also known as Eid al-Adha, occurs approximately two months after Eid al-Fitr. It’s celebrated on the 10th day of the Islamic lunar month of Dhu al-Hijjah, the twelfth and final month of the Islamic calendar.
This celebration honors Ibrahim (Abraham) for being willing to sacrifice his son Isma’il (Ishmael) by God’s will.
When Abraham was about to sacrifice his son as an act of faith, God saw his dedication and provided a lamb instead. That’s why, during Eid al-Adha, they perform animal sacrifices to commemorate this particular moment of divine intervention.
There are some important ceremonies that Muslims are encouraged to take part in. One of these is the Qurbani ritual, where they sacrifice an animal such as a sheep, goat, cow, or camel if they have the means.
The meat from the sacrificed animal is divided into thirds: one-third for those in need, one-third for friends and family, and one-third for the family’s consumption during the meaningful Islamic day.
Qurbani is a sign of submission to God through willingly sacrificing material possessions. It serves as a reminder of the significance of charity, compassion, and assisting those in need.
It’s considered one of the most virtuous deeds during this period. Like Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha also entails special prayers at mosques or open spaces, where Muslims gather to perform communal prayers and listen to sermons.
What Are the Things to Do during Eid in Dubai as a Tourist?
Embrace Warm Greetings and Well-Wishing in Dubai
Eid Mubarak is the usual greeting people share with one another during this special time. It’s a way of expressing blessings and good wishes for a joyful and festive celebration.
Here are some common greetings and well-wishes for Eid in Dubai:
- Asakum min uwada: “May you prosper to witness many more Eids.”
- Kullu ‘am wa antum bi-khair: “May you be well every year.”
- Allah yebarek feek/i: “May God bless you.”
- Shukran: “Thank you!”
Spread Hope through Charitable Acts
You can donate food and clothing to local charities or drop them off at designated points to support those in need. You’ll also find plenty of opportunities to assist with various tasks and make a difference on this special occasion.
Volunteering at a charity is a fantastic way to get involved and make a positive impact on the community. You can also sponsor a child’s education through scholarship donations for those who cannot afford school.
There are several charitable organizations in Dubai to which you can make donations. These include:
- Red Crescent Authority Charity (RCA)
- Dubai Cares
- Mohammed Bin Rashid Global Center for Awqaf and Endowment
- UAE Water Aid
- Emirates Foundation
- International Humanitarian City
- Emirates Charity
- Sharjah Charity International
Dubai’s skyline comes to life with fireworks displays during Eid evenings.
Iconic locations like Dubai Creek, Jumeirah Beach, Dubai Mall, and Dubai World Trade Center host these dazzling shows, adding to the festive ambiance and creating a mesmerizing spectacle for residents and for you to enjoy.
It features traditional music and dance performances. There are also children’s activities, such as face painting and henna tattoos.
Attend the Eid Al Adha Camel Festival
Every year, the city hosts one of the world’s largest and most well-known camel festivals: the Eid Al-Adha Camel Festival.
The highlight of the festival is definitely the camel races, where folks compete in various distances, all vying for those top prizes. This exciting event goes down at the Al Marmoom Camel Race Track.
There’s also a conventional camel show that showcases the animal’s skills, such as their ability to jump and dance. You can also watch a camel beauty pageant as they’re judged on their appearance, size, shape and color.
The camel races are usually free for everyone to enjoy, which is awesome! But let me tell you, this event gets pretty crowded because it’s so popular. So, if you’re planning to go, it’s a smart move to book your seats ahead of time.
If it’s your first time in Dubai, we recommend visiting a mosque, as tourists are permitted to do so.
Jumeirah Mosque, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Al Farooq Omar Bin Al Khattab Mosque, and Al-Mu’eed Mosque are just a few of the mosques that welcome visitors and teach them about Islamic religion and culture through Eid prayers. *
What to Eat During the Eid Feast in Dubai?
During Eid, traditional Emirati dishes like Al Harees and Machboos are absolute highlights with their unique flavors and cultural significance.
You can’t forget about the mouthwatering desserts, too! Luqaimat and Kunafa are simply irresistible. Those little crispy dumplings drenched in honey or date syrup are a delight, and the creamy goodness of Kunafa is hard to resist.
If you’re looking for an authentic Emirati dining experience in Dubai, we recommend checking out Al Fanar. It’s a restaurant with a traditional atmosphere that really takes you back in time.
What are the things to remember when observing Eid in Dubai?
- Dress Modestly: Wear loose-fitting attire and cover your shoulders and knees, avoiding revealing clothing. Pay attention to your neckline, ensuring it’s high enough to cover your cleavage.
Also, be mindful of your hemline, ensuring it’s long enough to cover your knees.
- Public Behavior: Dubai has strict public behavior guidelines. Avoid public displays of affection, loud behavior, and inappropriate language.
- Respecting Ramadan Practices: Even if you’re not fasting, be mindful of those who are. Refrain from eating, drinking, or smoking in public during fasting hours out of respect for the holy month.
- Greeting Etiquette: Extend greetings of “Eid Mubarak” (Blessed Eid) to locals and fellow visitors, showing appreciation for the festive occasion.
- Stay Informed: Keep yourself updated on the timings of prayers, events, and festivities during Eid to make the most of your experience.
Stay informed about Eid events in Dubai by checking mosque and cultural center websites for prayer times and schedules. Additionally, follow local media outlets for coverage of festive activities.
Friends and family in Dubai can also provide valuable updates on the latest Eid celebrations.